This was a busy 3-day week for the Alabama Legislature. On Tuesday, the House passed one of the most significant pieces of legislation on the Republican agenda–Rep. Greg Canfield’s Rolling Reserve Budget Act–and the Senate voted to end the Deferred Retirement Option Program (DROP). Several important pieces of legislation also came out of committee on Tuesday including:
SB 17–Senator Cam Ward’s bill to cut ballot access requirements by half making it easier for independent and third party candidates to get on the ballot.
HB 56–Representative Micky Hammon’s immigration bill which requires businesses who receive economic development incentives to use e-verify, makes the entry, presence and involvement in economic activity of unauthorized illegal aliens a crime in this state, and requires law enforcement to verify the citizenship during routine enforcement of local, county or state laws.
SB112–Legislation by Senator Arthur Orr to remove racist language from the Alabama Constitution.
On Wednesday, the House passed an amendment to the Alabama Constitution protecting the right to a secret ballot in employee representation (HB64).
Thursday ended the legislative week with the Senate passing the Rolling Reserve Budget Act and the House passing the DROP legislation. There was, however, some confusion with the DROP legislation in the House regarding the date DROP would end. The enacting legislation appears to require the state to give participants 90 days to get out of the program, and the legislation the House was considering ended the program on April 1, 2011. Some legislators were concerned the bill could be thrown out in court because of the failure to give the 90 day notice. Rep. Harry Shiver introduced an amendment to move the end date to June 1, 2011. While that amendment passed, it was later stripped.
Governor Bentley signed the Rolling Reserve Budget Act into law at 11:30 this morning.
Next week is Spring Break for the legislators.